April 23, 2016 |
Camden officials are hoping to turn several city schools into "community schools" that would provide students with health and social services beyond those provided during class hours. Plans are in the early stages, but Brendan Lowe, a spokesman for the state-run district, said officials hope to select three to six traditional public schools before the next school year. Lowe said that the New Jersey Education Association, the state teachers' union, supports the idea, and that members have met with district officials to discuss the plans.
April 22, 2016
The future of the Philadelphia schools does not rest on the result of School Reform Commission member Bill Green's legal fight to regain the board's chairmanship, from which Gov. Wolf unceremoniously demoted him a year ago. But the public schools' well-being does depend on the governance of the district and the state, and Green's lawsuit raises necessary questions about both. The Democratic governor's roughshod removal of the former city councilman over an apparent policy disagreement casts doubt on the independence and utility of the SRC at a time when it's besieged on multiple fronts.
April 20, 2016 |
The principals of two city elementary schools slated for academic overhauls will remain to lead the efforts, the School District of Philadelphia announced Monday. Two other elementary schools targeted for district-run turnarounds will get new leaders. "We are excited to welcome two new school leaders and retain two veteran principals in support of our new turnaround model," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in the announcement. "Effective school leadership is key to this work," he said.
April 19, 2016 |
During her five years as principal at Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School, Karen Dean has stressed academics and the importance of going to college. The veteran administrator also has encouraged staff and students to build partnerships with groups and businesses in the school's Upper Roxborough neighborhood and beyond. Those relationships and Dean's ability to delegate tasks paid dividends after vandals destroyed parts of the school's nearly 17-acre campus in February, including students' gardens.
April 14, 2016 |
The Philadelphia School District's charter school office is too small to oversee the 83 charter schools in the city, state Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale said in a report released Tuesday morning. "By failing to have sufficient staffing and resources to adequately perform and document routine oversight measures, the district is unable to verify the validity of hundreds of millions of dollars it is paying to charter schools in tuition payments," DePasquale wrote in the performance audit.
April 9, 2016 |
Most boilers in Philadelphia public schools are safe but need repairs, officials said Thursday, about three months after one exploded at an East Mount Airy elementary school, critically injuring a maintenance worker. Authorities inspected all functioning boilers in city schools after the Jan. 13 explosion at F.S. Edmonds Elementary that hurt mechanic Christopher Trakimas. Of the 542 boilers in Philadelphia School District buildings tested, 531 - 98 percent - passed inspection, a report released Thursday said.
April 6, 2016 |
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has come up empty in its bid to undo a recent, devastating state Supreme Court ruling that curtailed powers it thought it had. The state's top court Monday turned down the SRC's request to reconsider a ruling it handed down in February that said the commission had no power to suspend parts of the state school code. The court said that a provision about special powers in the law that led to the state takeover of the city schools in 2001 was unconstitutional.
March 26, 2016 |
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission on Thursday approved the broad outlines of a proposed $2.8 billion budget for next year that, while anticipating it will have to pay more for charters and pensions, does not see the district's having to ask City Council for new revenue. In a briefing before the SRC meeting, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said the district would ask Harrisburg for more money in the fiscal year that begins July 1, but for the first time in years the city will not be tapped for more.
March 23, 2016
For months, I've advocated for detailed annual audits of the nearly $3 billion the Philadelphia School District spends. Despite efforts by City Controller Alan Butkovitz to make that happen, those audits still have not taken place. Yet when I spoke with Dr. William Hite, the district superintendent, in a radio interview nearly nine months ago, he told me he was open to such audits being performed. However, when Butkovitz forwarded a draft resolution detailing the scope of the audits to the School District's chief operational officer, Fran Burns, there was no response.
March 20, 2016 |
Philadelphia School Reform Commission member Bill Green Friday added his voice to those urging Gov. Wolf to adopt the Republican-crafted budget he has threatened to veto. In a letter to the governor, the former SRC chairman noted that 261 days have elapsed without a new state budget, forcing cash-strapped districts to borrow millions of dollars to keep schools open. "Your actions in December led schools to receive half of the year's funding to remedy the impact of the budget impasse," wrote Green, a Democrat like Wolf.